Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Travel the World - New Zealand

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world. By the end of 2021, I'd virtually traveled to 145 countries and plan to complete my journey to all 195 countries by visiting the last 50 this year.

This week's country is...

New Zealand

New Zealand is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. Its closest neighbor is Australia (1,440 miles away) so it is a pretty isolated nation. The two next closest nations being Tonga and New Caledonia.

New Zealand is the third closest country to Antarctica, only after Chile and Argentina.

New Zealand has a length of 1,000 miles from north to south and a width of 280 miles.

There are two main islands in New Zealand and numerous smaller ones. The main islands are called the North Island and the South Island. Many of the smaller islands are uninhabited.

For such a small country, New Zealand has the ninth longest coastline in the world.

New Zealand was the last country in the world to be inhabited by humans.

Most of New Zealand's population lives on the North Island and about one third of the population lives in the city of Auckland alone.

Auckland is by far the biggest and most populous of all New Zealand cities, but it is not the one one worth mentioning. Other beautiful cities in New Zealand include Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, and Hamilton.

New Zealand is one of the countries where the largest and most populous city is not the capital. The biggest city is Auckland while the capital city is Wellington. Both are located on the North Island.

New Zealand's capital Wellington is the southernmost capital in the entire world.

There are three official languages in New Zealand. In addition to English and sign language, Maori is also an official language.

There are many volcanoes in New Zealand. Auckland alone is surrounded by 50 different volcanoes, but others are scattered throughout the islands. Most of the volcanoes are now extinct, and the ones that are active pose no major threat.

No matter where you are in New Zealand, you'll never be more than 80 miles from the seaside.

Thirty percent of the country is a national preserve.

The biggest one-day yachting event in the world takes place in New Zealand. Every last Monday in January, the Auckland Anniversary Regatta occurs, welcoming over 1,000 entries annually. Auckland, or the City of Sails, also holds the record for having the world's highest boat ownership per capita.

One in every four households in Auckland owns a boat.

One must be careful when using the word kiwi in New Zealand, since there are three different meanings for the word. The word kiwi is used when referring to a person who was born in New Zealand, a kiwi bird is a bird that is also used as a national symbol for the country, and there is also the delicious kiwi fruit.

The Kiwi, which is a flightless bird native to New Zealand, lays eggs that are 20% of the size of the mother's body. Kiwi eggs are six times as big as normal for a bird of its size.

The Kiwi fruit is not native to New Zealand. It's actually from China, but it was named after the Kiwi bird.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force has a Kiwi as its logo. What makes this fact interesting? Kiwi is a flightless bird.

The New Zealand Kauri tree takes about 200 years to mature.

The town with the longest name in the world is located on the east coast of New Zealand. Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturpukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is its name. Its translation from Maori goes something like this: The place where Tamatea, the man on the big knees slipped, climbed and swallowed mountains, know as the land eater, he played the flute to his love one.

New Zealand was the first country in which the vote for women was approved. This occurred in 1893, long before most countries in the world.

Most children in New Zealand start school on their fifth birthday. Students in other countries usually start at the beginning of the school year.

In 2007, a New Zealand couple wanted to name their child 4Real. They were denied by the court, only to settle on the name Superman.

The legal limit for names in New Zealand is 100 characters.

The steepest residential street in the world is located on the South Island of New Zealand. Baldwin Street has a 19 degree slope.

New Zealand's Gisborne airport has train tracks running across the runway which means sometimes a plane must wait for a train to pass before it is cleared to land.

The livestock industry is one of the main industries in New Zealand, particularly sheep. It is estimated for every person living in New Zealand, there are approximately 10 sheep. That is the highest ratio of sheep to humans in the world.

New Zealand is the second largest producer of wool in the world. It only follows after its closest neighbor, Australia.

New Zealand ranks 8th among top dairy producers in the world. Once, the country reached the top five when dairy farmers annually produced 220 pounds of butter and 143 pounds of cheese per person living in New Zealand.

New Zealand's highest-earning exports are dairy products.

The clearest lake in the world is Nelson's Blue Lake in New Zealand, with a visibility of up to 265 feet deep.

With more than 400, New Zealand has more golf courses per capita than anywhere else in the world.

New Zealand is famous for its adrenaline adventures, especially bungee jumping. The first commercial bungee jump was made by AJ Hackett n the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown back in 1988.

The Kea, a bird native to New Zealand, is known for pulling windscreen wipers off cars and eating the strips of rubber from windows. In fact, many tourists suffer damage on their car rentals, thanks to this little bird.

One of the the most delicious means in New Zealand is hangi, which is a traditional Maori meal that is cooked underground. Usually fish or chicken is cooked with vegetables such as carrots or sweet potatoes. These are cooked in a pit which is pot on top of hot stones and then covered with dirt to trap the heat. The meal is cooked for about 3 or 4 hours, which makes the food so beautifully soft. The meat falls off the bone.

New Zealand has over 20,000 earthquakes a year, although most of them go unnoticed.

New Zealand is home to the heaviest insect in the whole world. In fact, theWeta insect is heavier than a sparrow.

New Zealand is also home to 44 species of local reptiles. The largest among them is the tuatara, which grows up to two feet long.

There are no snakes in New Zealand. None!

It is estimated that there are 2.5 million cars on roads in New Zealand. That's quite a few considering there are only around 4.5 million people. The car has always been the number one choice of travel in New Zealand, where roads are good and the scenery beautiful.

In order to demonstrate the intelligence of shelter animals, two rescue dogs in New Zealand were taught to drive a car around a track.

There are more species of penguins native to New Zealand than to any other country.

In the past, New Zealand had a dolphin named Pelorus Jack who guided ships through dangerous waters. Unfortunately, Pelorus Jack mysteriously disappeared in 1912.

The oldest organized sport in New Zealand is cricket.

New Zealand has two national anthems: God Save the Queen and God Defend New Zealand.

There are more Scottish pipe bands per capita in New Zealand than anywhere else in the world.

New Zealand has the most unique McDonald's in the world. The one in Taupo is a decommissioned DC3 plane.

The tallest freestanding formation in the southern hemisphere is found in New Zealand. The Auckland City Sky Tower on the North Island stands 1,076 feet tall.

A man broke into a radio station  in Wanganui and took the manager hostage in 1996. His demand was for the station to play the Muppet song Rainbow Connection.

All television advertising is banned in New Zealand on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Christmas day.

New Zealand is one of only two countries in the world where drug companies are allowed to advertise to the public.

All New Zealand high schools and universities are allowed to keep a pound of uranium or thorium onsite, but they face a million dollar fine if it explodes.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about New Zealand... Bats are the only land mammals native to New Zealand. All of the others were introduced by humans.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Sugar Pea Designs Fangtastic stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Hammermill 110# White and SU Pool Party CS and DP from my scrap file

Ink/Stencil: MFT Pineapple Ink and a Circle Stencil from my college art class days

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangles

Embellishments: Amazon Nail Art Rhinestones

1 comment:

Lynn McAuley said...

Now that is somewhere I always thought I wanted to go until I read about that bug and that spider!! What the heck!??! Cute cute card, Jeanette!!